Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
WHAT IS SNAP
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) formerly known as food stamps is the first line of defense against hunger in Tennessee. This federal program offers individuals the ability to buy food at the grocery store through an EBT card. Eligibility is based upon household income and size. The program requires proof of income, expenses, and household members.
Why is it important
SNAP allows families to shop for foods in the grocery store that fit their dietary needs and cultural preferences. It is the most effective anti-hunger program in the country. Over 40% of participants are children, and most adult participants that can work, do work. You can enroll and manage your case without ever having to leave your home. Access the SNAP application at the Tennessee Department of Human Services (T-DHS) website: here.
PROGRAM CHANGES TO KNOW ABOUT
In response to COVID-19 and CDC guidelines recommending social distancing, DHS offices are closed to walk-in appointments. In person appointments are available by appointment only. Local offices have employees available to respond to questions or applications via telephone. Find the number to local offices here.
Maximum Benefit Granted for April 2020 through April 2021 – Current SNAP recipients and new SNAP applicants will receive the maximum benefit.
A 15% increase has been added to the SNAP benefit and went into effect January 2021 and has been extended through September 2021. This will add an approximate $30 to the maximum SNAP benefit for a household of one. (Maximum SNAP benefit + 15% for 3-person household = $615)
3-Month Time Limit is Suspended – The 3-month time limit to SNAP has been lifted for able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs) who do not meet work requirements in all counties. Individuals between the ages of 18-49, who have lost SNAP because of the time limit rule may reapply. A work requirement exemption will be granted for anyone who is not able to find work because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Due to COVID-19 SNAP offices are encouraging individuals to apply online.
TN SNAP WAIVERS
The TN-DHS has implemented statewide waivers granted by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act:
- Emergency Allotment for Current SNAP Households – Allows the maximum benefit to be distributed to all SNAP recipients. This includes new SNAP applicants approved in either month.
- SNAP Flexibility for Quality Control Interviews – Allows the state to conduct telephone interviews in lieu of face-to face-interviews for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Quality Control (QC) purposes.
- Quality Control Review Extension – Gives the state additional time to gather required verification information to complete and submit cases selected for QC review.
Waiver details can be found on USDA’s COVID-19 Waivers & Flexibilities website for Tennessee.
PANDEMIC EBT (P-EBT)
Families of children who receive free or reduced price school meals or attend a Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) schools may be eligible for Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) benefits to help alleviate the cost of missed school meals because of COVID-19. P-EBT has been extended through September 2021 and families with children who are participating in remote learning or attend schools that have had to close due to COVID-19 outbreak may be eligible for P-EBT. Find more details here.
Join our SNAP Access group to stay up to date on TN SNAP current issues, best practices, and policy changes: Contact Emily Sherwood firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’re interested in hearing about how to integrate Food Assistance Programs like SNAP and WIC into your college’s anti-hunger initiatives, join our College Hunger Calls! All upcoming TJC-hosted events like these are on our Events and Trainings pages.
- USDA SNAP Waivers for Tennessee: https://www.fns.usda.gov/disaster/pandemic/covid-19/tennessee#snap
- SNAP Pandemic Planning Guidelines: https://fns-prod.azureedge.net/sites/default/files/media/file/SNAP-Pandemic-Planning.pdf
- FRAC COVID-19 updates: https://frac.org/covid-19-updates
- Apply for SNAP on-line or by phone: https://www.tn.gov/humanservices/news/2020/3/16/victims-of-the-march-third-tornadoes-have-an-easier-option-to-apply-for-assistance.html
SNAP OUTREACH PARTNERS
TN Commission on Aging/Disability: Lacey Aviles, Aging Nutrition Coordinator
Contact: 615-253-4161 | Lacey.email@example.com
Second Harvest Middle TN: Kate Pearce, SNAP Coordinator
Contact: 615-782-2071 | Kate.firstname.lastname@example.org
Second Harvest Northeast TN: Alecia Holder, SNAP Outreach Coordinator
Contact: 423-279-0430 ext.216 | email@example.com
West TN Legal Services: Beth Bates, SNAP Project Director
Contact: 731-426-1313 | Beth@wtls.org
Chattanooga Food Bank: Letisia Garcia-Sanchez, SNAP Outreach Coordinator
Contact: 706-330-4562 | Lsanchez@chattfoodbank.org
Knoxville-Knox County CAC: Alice Allen, SNAP Coordinator
Contact: 865-524-2786 | Alice.firstname.lastname@example.org
MidSouth Food Bank (Memphis): Nakilla Jones, SNAP Coordinator
Contact: 901-373–408 | Njones@midsouthfoodbank.org
Univ. Of Memphis: Alison Brown, Student Outreach & Support
Contact: 901-678-3594 | Mbrown37@memphis.edu
United Way Metro Nashville: Tracey Dill, Director of Community Impact
Contact: 615-780-2461 or Dial 2-1-1 | Tracey.email@example.com
Catholic Charities of West Tennessee: Shamika Hodges, Campus Manager
Contact: 901-722-4733 l firstname.lastname@example.org